Tag Archive - Mad Scientist

Dinner with the Mad Scientist ll and Brooklyn Limestone Feature

Hello Brooklyn Limestone readers, and those still hanging around these parts! I’ve been a reader for several years and Stefanie’s decorations|party ideas knock my socks off, and I look forward to her Halloween posts with great anticipation! When she contacted me about a feature after I left a recent comment on the blog, I couldn’t say ‘yes’ fast enough.

We’re continuing the Dinner with the Mad Scientist theme from two years ago. Most of the usual suspects have returned and we’ve collected a few new pieces since. The previous post has information on many of the details we repurposed this year. I have also updated the Aged Specimen Jar Label DIY post.

Smaller images can be clicked to view larger versions.

Michael came up with the idea to add some Sharpie solution to the dark green I was using for the large specimen jars and the effect is delightfully eerie. We also played with a black light behind the jars while taking a few of the photos. (more…)

Bon Weekend – Muwhahahahahah!

We’re a few steps closer to next year’s frightening show. Michael had an old 22 amp variac that needed work because of water damage. He fixed it and then built a beautiful case to house it. The meter is vintage Weston that he modified by installing two blue LED’s inside.

As the title states… Muwhahahahahahahahaha!


Only three days left!

Apartment Therapy’s Room for Color 2001 Contest

Evita’s ‘Vintage Panama’ Room
We would love, love, love your vote!

Happy Monday – Infected with more technology

I’ve had the Instagram app on my phone for a long time but have never used it. As I’ve become a little more active on Twitter I’ve noticed many people using it, so when a couple of my our friends came to visit this weekend and took some sweet shots via the app, I got hooked. Here are a couple of Michael’s studio.

We left the Samhain decorations up for them to see in person, and here’s one of Steph’s shots.

Oh yeah, this app is a keeper.

The Mad Scientist makes his yearly appearance.

Monday was a blur (wait, I can’t believe it’s Wednesday!) and we didn’t get a chance to get the porch set up how we did last year, but in the end, it’s the lightning show that matters anyway! The kids were thrilled, some were terrified and some speechless. Many of the parents remembered last year and all had a great time!

It’s hard to capture the corona while standing at a distance and without a tripod, but here are a few shots from the phone of the coils in action.

Michael had his small Jacobs Ladder on the other small porch rail. We wanted to use the big one but that requires bringing THE VERY HEAVY TRANSFORMER downstairs. In the past we’ve had the benefit of using the carpet on the stairs to help it up and down and now that it’s gone we need to find another easy way. Monday was not the day to craft something!

Dinner with the Mad Scientist

ETA: Many thanks to Sarah Rae at Apartment Therapy for loving our stuff so much she featured us again! ♥

I’m imagining this will be what our home looks like when were old and Michael’s laboratory is filled with amazing pieces. Well, in my fantasies it does… minus the dirty plates and glasses. 😉 I think what I love most is that I didn’t have to clean or polish ANYTHING! The glasses and plates are all smudged and dusty and the silver is tarnished. All of it. I would love to build on this theme next year, bringing some of Michael’s larger Tesla coils/other HV ‘toys’ down from his studio. They do have to come downstairs for the big porch scene for Halloween night so we might as well bring them down early.

Oh, in case it was missed, here is the Aged Label DIY tutorial!

The skull prints were found on BibliOdyssey {so, so much love for that site}, resized and a little Photoshopped to clean up a bit. Propped up against the skull is an antique medical slide. I had six in my studio and after this venture I now have five. Oh well!

(more…)

Electrometer

It’s been a while since I’ve shared some tinkerings from the other side of the hall, so here’s a sweet little gadget Michael finished last night.

Says Michael, “I’ve been experimenting with a device that way be able to suck the free electrons from the Earth. The Earth is a big capacitor which contains free electric charges. If it is possible to create or to find a potential imbalance between two points in the ground, it seems possible to suck additional electrons from the ground and thus to create an increase of the current flow through a wire connected between these two points. Early in his researches in Colorado Springs, Nikola Tesla wanted to collect free energy from the Earth capacitor between the ground and the ionosphere by the use of a parametric resonance with the TMT project. Later, Tesla found that it is possible to do the same process with only the use of the ground by using the natural imbalance of the ground potential produced by the telluric currents flow underground and Tesla found that this could be done by the use of an asymmetric displacement of current. To help me find the imbalance of the ground potential on the surface of the Earth induced by underground telluric currents, I have built and I use a experimental surface tellurmeter (a low impedance electrometer).”

I’ll just call it purrty.

Dry Ice

Dry ice is soooooo much fun. I always look forward to working with it! These were taken on Saturday night by one of the photographers. I must give major props to Rogers Oxygen, who donated all of the dry ice for the evening!

Michael filling the beakers.


{ Photo credit: L.I.M.E. Charleston }

I’m still looking for some images of the Jacob’s ladder.

Mad Science Party

Last night Michael and I participated in L.I.M.E. Charleston‘s dinner. Jonathan Kaldas from Woodlands restaurant was the guest chef for the evening, and his charity of choice was the Lowcountry Food Bank. He works with molecular gastronomy so they went with a Mad Science theme for the decor and some of the entertainment. The dinner was held at the food bank itself, which is an incredibly inspiring place to wander about.

We had an understandably light budget – the less spent means more that actually goes to the evening’s beneficiary. Science equipment is rather expensive to come by, so we opted to create our own. I came up with the idea of printing the measurement gradients on transparency film and Michael chimed in with the clingy stuff. I also came up with using the food bank’s logo on the beakers with ‘Made in Charleston’ as well. I’m not sure if anyone eating noticed, but the food bank employees caught it right away and seemed quite delighted. We scoured several thrift stores and found glasses and glass candleholders that appeared to fit the bill. We bought many of those and some metal stands in hopes of creating different levels of depth. We needed more stuff and after a slight snafu Friday afternoon, I had to pick up the rest of the glassware from one of the big box stores. We also made several tent cards, some with information on Nikola Tesla, Tesla coils, and Jacob’s ladders. We also made a batch of Ooze {cornstarch and water} to demonstrate the principals of non-Newtonian fluids. We named it Non-Newtonian No.8 and also made tent cards.

Once we staged the glassware, candles, tent cards and bowls for the Non-Newtonian No.8, we took a step back to look at the set up. We decided at that point not to use the stands. We filled most of the ‘beakers’ with neon green fluid that is simply highlighter cores soaked in water. We filled them at varying heights. Once we ran out we used a secondary color, which was blue. I thought they looked great together, and we noticed during clean up that some guests had spent time mixing the two together. Michael added some dry ice to some of the beakers during the evening.

Michael also built a new Jacob’s ladder for the event. He’s been meaning to do it, but just needed the right ‘inspiration’ to get it done. We packed several pieces from his lab including the Jacob’s ladder, two small Tesla coils, a Van de Graaf generator, a wireless set up and his power units. We had originally planned to do some Tesla demos outside during the cocktail hour, but it was too bright and decidedly a little dangerous as the guests couldn’t see the plasma and Michael as worried that one may stick their hands up to touch the toroid. During several points during the dinner, Michael provided some demonstrations. Diners were encouraged to come up and take a closer look and ask questions.

All in all, I think it was a successful evening. The diners appeared to be having a good time and hopefully learned a few things, and money was raised for a very deserving organization. How much was raised wasn’t available at the end of the evening as the costs hadn’t been fully tallied. We also gave our number out (Yup, I didn’t finish Michael’s cards) to a couple of people who said they’d pass it along to possibly set up at some upcoming events. If it happens, I’ll definitely update on that.

And now, on with the photos! BTW – we had no idea that napkins would be green! Also, behind that blue wall was the kitchen where Jonathan and his assistant were working. There were three large windows in the wall, so it was in keeping with the ‘laboratory’ feel.

Mad Science Table
{ All images click through to larger versions }

Mad Science Table

Mad Science Table

Looking toward the 'lab'
Michael keeping a very ‘serious’ face in the photo on the right.

Mad Science Table

Tesla tent card

Tesla coil tent card

On the back of the coil card was info on the Jacob’s ladder.

Mad Science Table

Mad Science Table

Our vantage point:
Our vantage point

Standup bass

Unfortunately, this the best shot of the new Jacob’s ladder. This was done during at test run. You can see the arc at the bottom.
Jacob's Ladder

Jacob’s Ladder

Michael is building this almost 7′ tall Jacob’s Ladder for an event on Saturday. That’s about all I can say about it at this time. More photos after then!

Jacob's Ladder

What is a Jacob’s Ladder? Well, I had to lift this information from The Museum of Electricity:
‘If you’ve ever seen a Frankenstein movie you have probably seen a Jabcobs Ladder or “climbing arc”. The familiar “Bzzzzzzzzzzz….snap!” sound is a staple of old horror movies.

So how do they work? First two conductive metal rods are positioned in a rough “V” shape with a slight space between them at the base. A sufficient voltage differential is provided from a high voltage transformer to breakdown the air in the gap between the rods, at which point the electricity “jumps” the gap and creates an arc. If there is enough electric current or amperage available, the arc will resemble a flame, and be hot enough so that convection begins to pull it upwards. As the arc rises it lengthens until it gets to a point where the rails are so far apart that it cannot sustain itself. It then goes out and the whole process begins again at the bottom where the rods are closest together.’

Pretty awesome stuff, eh?

Plasma Kaleidoscope

Michael was playing with some photos of his coils and attempting to create some kaleidoscope like effects with the plasmas streams. He decided to download a plug-in for Photoshop and got some cool results. The first three were done by him goofing around and the last three are done via the plug-in.

plasmaKaleidescope
{ Click on image to take you to the set to enlarge! }

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